Millions of Americans sustain dog bite injuries each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dogs bite when put in stressful situations. Even our pets or other dogs we know to be friendly can bite under certain circumstances. Avoid being bitten by recognizing dog bite warning signs and avoiding such situations.
Our Harrisburg dog bite attorneys have compiled the following information to help you prevent dog bites. If you need help with your dog bite injury claim, contact us for a free, no obligation consultation.
Dog Bite Warning Signs
Dogs display several signs that can alert you to the animal’s uneasiness, indicating that it may bite. Avoid an animal who is displaying these signs:
- A dog who is raising or licking its lips may be agitated. Yawning is another sign of the animal being unsettled or uneasy.
- If a dog is growling, showing or snapping its teeth, it may be about to bite. Dogs do this when they feel threatened. You may remove the threat if you can identify it to reduce the animal’s anxiousness.
- Wagging tails do not always indicate happiness. A wagging tail high and slow while the dog’s body remains rigid can indicate the dog feels tense and unhappy.
- A dog’s body becomes stiff when feeling threatened. Its ears are perked and tail is raised, almost as if frozen.
- Raised fur on a dog can indicate the animal is uneasy. Raised fur on the neck or back is a sign a bite may occur.
- In normal situations, you cannot see the whites of a dog’s eyes. When the whites are exposed, it can be a warning sign of an attack. Dogs maintain direct eye contact when feeling threatened.
How to Prevent Dog Bites
There are many steps you can take to prevent dog bites, such as:
- Do not pet or reach out to dogs that are unfamiliar.
- Always ask a dog’s owner for permission to pet it.
- When petting a dog with permission, let the dog sniff your closed hand before you pet it. Only pet a dog on the animal’s shoulders and chest.
- Never pet a dog that is eating, nursing puppies, sleeping or chewing on a toy.
- Keep your distance from dogs who are barking or growling.
- Watch for the dog’s body language discussed above and avoid dogs displaying these signs.
- Do not approach dogs that are running loose or are kept behind a fence.
- Do not scream at or run away from an unknown dog that approaches you. Keep still and stay quiet, but do not turn your back on the dog.
- Do not approach a dog that is injured. Either locate the owner or call animal control to get the animal help.
- Do not tease, pull the tail, hit, or poke a dog.
- Never leave small children without supervision with dogs, even if the dog is a family pet.
- Watch dogs and children as they play for safety.
- Teach children how to gently play with dogs.
What to Do if Bitten by a Dog
If you are bitten by a dog, follow these steps to protect your health as well as your legal rights:
- Use warm, soapy water to wash the wound immediately.
- Seek immediate medical care.
- Report the dog bite to local animal control. Give all information you have to the agency, including the owner’s name and how to contact him or her. If the dog is likely a stray, tell the agency where the bite happened, details of what the dog looks like, the direction the dog headed and whether or not you have seen the animal around before.
- Talk to a dog bite attorney about your legal options after a dog bite for pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Speak with Our Experienced Dog Bite Attorneys
If you were injured by a dog bite attack, contact our Harrisburg dog bite attorneys for assistance. We will review your claim and inform you of your legal options for recovering compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Schedule your free, no obligation consultation today. There are no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation for you.